EDITOR'S NOTE: The following appeared on the editorial page of the Phoenix Republic in December 1991. We do not know who wrote it, but we thought it was worth sharing again.
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen.
And, lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish, and the fish were hungry.
Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to go fishing.
Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing, such as the new fishing equipment, fish calls, and whether any new bait was discovered.
But the teachers did not fish; they only taught fishing. Some spent much time in study and travel to learn the history of fishing and to see faraway places where the Founding Fathers did great fishing in centuries past. They lauded the faithful fishermen of years earlier who handed down the idea of fishing.
Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish. And they went off to foreign lands … to teach fishing.
Now it's true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen clubs. They anguished over those who were not committed enough to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing.
These fishermen built large and beautiful buildings called Fishing Headquarters. The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish.
One thing they didn't do, however: they didn't fish. All of the fishermen seemed to agree that what was needed was a board that could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing.
The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived. Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology.
After all, were they not following the one who said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”?
Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet, it did sound correct.
Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish? Is one following if he isn't fishing? If Christ were to return to this Earth today in physical form, would he find us fishing, or would he find us organizing, talking about fishing, and making plans to build the best Fishing Headquarters anywhere?
© www.BillionPhotos.com. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
© EvgeniiAnd. Image from BigStockPhoto.com